AltaLink Calls for New Transmission Planning Strategy



    /NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES/

    Infrastructure Development Must Be Balanced With Respect for the Land,
    Says AltaLink CEO

    CALGARY, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - Today AltaLink Management Ltd., Alberta's
largest electricity transmission supplier, invited the government, the Alberta
Electric System Operator (AESO), landowners and the Alberta electric industry
to support a new and innovative approach to transmission planning.
    "We believe that Alberta needs to rethink how infrastructure is built by
minimizing its footprint while maximizing its capacity to ultimately conserve
our land resources," said Scott Thon, AltaLink President and CEO. "We listened
to landowners who are concerned about new facilities who told us land is
precious. We need to reuse right-of ways wherever possible and conserve our
land for future generations while ensuring we meet the growing demands for
power in Alberta."
    AltaLink is inviting the provincial government and the Alberta Electric
System Operator to adopt planning criteria that places more weight on land-use
issues earlier in the transmission planning process.
    More than 1.5 million people in central and southern Alberta rely on
electricity transported through the Edmonton-Calgary transmission corridor.
Independent forecasts indicate that transmission capacity in the corridor must
be increased to meet the growing energy demands of Albertans. This is driven
by Alberta's many new residents and a growing economy that add the equivalent
of two cities the size of Red Deer to our electricity system annually.
AltaLink is reviewing all transmission options following the Alberta Energy
and Utilities Board decision to void all decisions and proceedings related to
the 500 kV Edmonton to Calgary transmission development.
    While the single circuit 500 kV configuration remains a viable option,
AltaLink plans to bring forward a second proposal to the AESO to design and
install single towers to carry the electricity traditionally carried by two
towers. Public and landowner consultation on such an option will begin in the
near future.
    "As a company committed to this province, we know we need to be more
effective in not only how we use the land but also in how we engage landowners
and the public. The Government has already shown through its Land Use
Framework process that it is committed to better balancing the impacts on our
land with the need for infrastructure development," said Thon. "Together,
industry, the public and government can minimize the impact on the land while
ensuring the present and future electricity needs of the province are met."

    Company also spearheads electricity public education program

    Today, AltaLink also confirmed its commitment to ensuring that all
Albertans understand our electricity system and its infrastructure challenges.
The company announced its sponsorship of the Canadian Centre for Energy
Information for a new, factual and comprehensive program of public education
about the electricity system.
    "We know we need to show leadership by being transparent and providing
opportunities for Albertans to understand the electricity system and the
challenges to ensuring it is reliable," said Thon. "Today I am challenging my
industry colleagues to join us to make this new initiative a success."

    AltaLink, Canada's only fully independent transmission provider, is
responsible for the maintenance and operation of more than 11,600 kilometres
of transmission lines and approximately 260 substations in Alberta. As
Alberta's largest supplier of safe and reliable transmission, AltaLink is
moving forward to provide a transmission system that will continue to meet the
growing needs of Albertans.





For further information:

For further information: Media Relations, Scott Schreiner, Manager,
External Communications, AltaLink Management Ltd., Phone: (403) 267-2176,
E-mail: Scott.Schreiner@AltaLink.ca

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